Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Athletes and spectators have been re-living history in the ancient Greek stadium of Nemea, with a re-enactment of what they say are the 'true' Games.
Approximately 600 people dressed in Greek tunics took take part in a revival of the Ancient Nemean Games held at a stadium in Ancient Nemea, Greece.
The revival event was founded in 1994 by an archaeological team from University of California in Berkeley after more than 20 years of excavation at Nemea. The new games are held every 4 years and the goal is to help educate the history of that region.
The original Nemean Games began in 573B.C. and itwas at Nemea that the ancient Greeks celebrated athletic and religious festivals that were part of the cycle of games at Delphi, Isthmia, and (best known today) Olympia. It was at one of these four sites that, for a brief period each year, wars and hostilities were suspended by a sacred truce, and all Greeks gathered in recognition of their common humanity. This impulse toward peace - albeit limited to a few days each year - was the first in the history of mankind on an organized, regular, and international scale. Thus, the festivals at Nemea, Olympia, Delphi, and Isthmia are the direct ancestors of today's United Nations and Olympic movement.